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The TV Column: 'Blonde Charity Mafia' gets whacked by CW

By Lisa de Moraes
Wednesday, December 30, 2009; C06

Ask not for whom the bell tolls -- it tolls for thee, "Blonde Charity Mafia."

Participants in the much-ballyhooed reality series about Washington do-gooder celebutants got the bad news in an e-mail Tuesday from "BCM" producers: "We just heard from the CW that they have officially decided not to air BCM. They have been very supportive and complimentary of the project, but they now have two other shows that are 'home grown' that they are choosing to air instead," said the e-mail, a copy of which was obtained by The TV Column.

The D.C.-based series was out-blonded by "Fly Girls," a show about party-girl flight attendants of Virgin America airlines; and an as-yet-unnamed series by "Gossip Girl" cameo star/New York socialite Tinsley Mortimer. Both are in development at the CW network.

"BCM," on the other hand, was developed by Lifetime and sold to CW in 2008 when Lifetime cut bait. Six half-hour episodes are in the can.

Things were not looking good for our charity blondes when CW disappeared the show from its Web site and pulled a fan page that linked to the chicks' Facebook page, and the show's Blonde Charity Capo, Katherine Kennedy, was told by the series' producers and by CW that she was free to search for other TV project options. CW confirmed the show's death knell Tuesday.

"As we filmed 'BCM' years ago, I am ready to move on with my career," Kennedy told The TV Column. "Everything worked out for the best, and I am actually happy we aren't airing here -- no longer are we waiting with bated breath. Rumors surrounding the show brought attention to a lot of worthy causes in the area, which was my original intention for participating. As far as I'm concerned, we had the success we sought -- and get off easy."

CW instead will inflict upon us "Fly Girls," which follows five flight attendants who work for "uber-hip" Virgin America as they gallivant in Las Vegas, New York and South Beach in pursuit of "good times, great parties, adventures and love," CW said.

Not to mention the still-unnamed Mortimer series, which we've given the working title "I'm Tinsley Mortimer, and You're Not," following the daughter of rich New Yorkers as she hits the New York social scene and sells her handbags.

In their e-mail, "BCM" producers PB&J Television said they are shopping the show to two other networks. No networks named but, of the 13 TV projects on PB&J's Web site, five -- "Extreme Wedding," Outrageous Proposals," "LA Riding Club," "Date My House" and "Miss America: Reality Check" -- air on the Silver Spring-based TLC network. An additional two -- "Dress My Nest" and "Modern Girl's Guide to Life," hail from the Style network. Consider yourself warned.

* * *

A new blond evening news anchor is unwrapped as treacly holiday flicks flicker merrily on the airwaves, and lousy TV series burn off briskly in the networks's fireplace. Don't you just love Christmas Week?

Here's a look at the week's figgy pudding and coal:

Winners

-- Glutinous Christmas flicks. On the night before Christmas, when all through the house, older people were watching reruns of CBS's crime dramas "CSI," "CSI: NY" and "The Mentalist," younger ones were instead watching NBC's broadcast of 1946 Frank Capra classic "It's a Wonderful Life," as well as TBS's telecast of cheesetastic 80s flick "Christmas Story."

Losers

-- Diane Sawyer. Princess Di did not win her first week anchoring ABC's evening newscast. Heck, she didn't even win her first night. It's the first time someone taking over as anchor of a broadcast network's evening newscast has not won the debut night since . . . well, since Charlie Gibson took over as anchor of the ABC evening newscast in May 2006.

On the other hand, ABC News didn't do the newscast any favor when it scheduled the launch on Christmas Week with little-to-no fanfare. ABC noted that Di's debut-week newscast attracted a bigger crowd than its evening news had the previous week, even though the number of homes using television had gone down because of the holiday. It's true -- her newscast did 70,000 viewers better. That's roughly the population of Apache County, Ariz., and this is known as damning with faint praise.

-- "Raising the Bar." TNT burned off the final three episodes of this legal drama on Christmas Eve, where they barely broke 1 million viewers -- which, to be fair, is still better than CW did that night with repeats of "Vampire Diaries" and "Supernatural," which both failed to reach the 1 million threshold.

-- " 'Til Death." Fox decided to burn off four episodes of its "Aren't Middle-Aged Married People a Riot?" series on Christmas night. Which you'd think would result in Fox's least watched Friday of the year -- but you'd be wrong! Fox's least watched Friday of the year happened one week earlier, when it ran back-to-back original episodes of Joss Whedon's "Dollhouse."

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